Loving Pure Imperfection
“The more I feel imperfect, the more I feel alive.”
― Jhumpa Lahiri, In Other Words
Oh, I love this idea — to be imperfect. It’s funny how “being imperfect” instantly brings to mind the ideas of having flaws, doing things that others don’t like, or not being ideal.
But I don’t think any of those are true.
It feels more like there is a system we are supposed to fit into, a mold to look like, or someone else’s vision for us to uphold. Somehow fitting into this model became “perfect” and everything else wasn’t.
Every day, I am seeing a bit more of the box I was supposed to fit into. This box told me how I was supposed to think, how I was supposed to act, and what I was supposed to look like. Anything short of that was “imperfect”.
Isn’t that strange? It’s like there was a teaching that we all were enveloped by that said “Same is better — difference is chaos.”
We see this all the time in relationships where, although what we love about the other in the beginning is often how different they are, we try to change them into something closer to ourselves. We see this in schools as children are graded as to how well they fit into the mold. We see it in our fitness programs as we all aim to have the “perfect” body regardless of the millions of permutations and combinations that our bodies truly are.
Years ago, my husband and I used to watch the “Miss Universe” competitions (they used to be interesting and maybe glamorous to us folk living and working on a dairy farm). The last year that we watched it, something drastic had changed.
Every woman looked almost identical to each other. It didn’t matter if they were from Uganda, or Spain, or Russia, or China. Every woman had the same bone structure, the same eyes, the same shape of face, the same body, everything. They had different colour skin and different hair, but the women looked the same.
As we watched, there was absolutely no way to ascertain beauty or even to be able to tell them apart. Their skin and hair colour were simply like different coloured t-shirts. They all looked the same.